St. Clement of Alexandria


#1

Did this Saint, or did this Saint not believe in the Literal Body and Blood transubstantiation?

I have read some of his work, and am satisfied that he did so.
But on another forum this has been called into question, and while the evidence I have is sufficient for me, I have nothing strong enough to convince anyone else.

Can anyone help out?

I need to know if he believed in the Catholic understanding of the Eucharist, and if so, how do we know?

Please help.

Thanks.


#2

I’d say not because in …(The Instructor, 2:2)
He makes reference to Jesus drinking wine at the Last Supper, citing Matthew 26:29, and he refers to the Last Supper as how we should act while having wine

"In what manner do you think the Lord drank when He became man for our sakes? As shamelessly as we? Was it not with decorum and propriety? Was it not deliberately? For rest assured, He Himself also partook of wine; for He, too, was man. And He blessed the wine, saying, ‘Take, drink: this is my blood’–the blood of the vine. He figuratively calls the Word ‘shed for many, for the remission of sins’–the holy stream of gladness. And that he who drinks ought to observe moderation, He clearly showed by what He taught at feasts. For He did not teach affected by wine. And that it was wine which was the thing blessed, He showed again, when He said to His disciples, ‘I will not drink of the fruit of this vine, till I drink it with you in the kingdom of my Father.’ But that it was wine which was drunk by the Lord, He tells us again, when He spake concerning Himself, reproaching the Jews for their hardness of heart: ‘For the Son of man,’ He says, ‘came, and they say, Behold a glutton and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans.’" Clement of Alexandria

This seems to clarify things a bit further, in regards to John 6…

Clement of Alexandria
"Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when He said: ‘Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood,’ **describing distinctly by metaphor **the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church, like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both,–of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle."
(The Instructor, 1:6)

SO NO! He didn’t!


#3

vz71,

Previous to St. Justin we find but brief and, generally, casual allusions to the Eucharist as for example, in St. Clement’s “Letter to the Corinthians” (Chapters 40 & 46) and the “Letters” Of St. Ignatius to the “Ephesians” (Chapter 5) and the Philadelphians (Chapter 4), and finally in the very early document, of unceratin authorship and date, known as “The Teaching of the Apostles”. (Chapters 14 & 15). Though nothing very definite is to be gathered from these scattered allusions, they yet all point the same way. There is not only no sign of any purely commemorative and non-sacrificial conception of the Eucharist, but there are positive indications that its celebration was always looked upon as a sacrificial act fulfilling the prophecy of Malachy. We also know that, from the first, the Christians believed the consecrated bread and wine to be Christ’s real Body and Blood. We may allow that there has been some developement from Clement through Justin to Cyprianbut it has been logical and inevitable, and consisting rather in the clearer explanation and co-ordination of these two primitive elements than in the addition of anything new, or the introduction of anything from without.

Tomster


#4

Wait a minute! From the very same document that MFM quotes comes the following, “
”’Eat my flesh,’ [Jesus] says, ‘and drink my blood.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children" (The Instructor of Children 1:6:43:3 [A.D. 191]). "


#5

CM,
Not characteristic of your way! It appears you’ve spliced 1:6 and 43:3 into one paragraph, this should be edited for context.
I’ll dig these links up so all can read in context…


#6

ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf02.vi.iii.i.vi.html?highlight=flesh,and,pours,out,his,blood#highlight

ALL should read this…


#7

Particularly… in a following paragraph.

The flesh figuratively represents to us the Holy Spirit; for the flesh was created by Him. The blood points out to us the Word, for as rich blood the Word has been infused into life; and the union of both is the Lord, the food of the babes—the Lord who is Spirit and Word. The food—that is, the Lord Jesus—that is, the Word of God, the Spirit made flesh, the heavenly flesh sanctified.


#8

Myfavoritemartin’s words notwithstanding,

There have been prominent members of the Church teaching the Real Presence for every generation since Apostolic Times. Jeff Cavin wrote a book (I believe it’s (I’m Not Being Fed") detailing this teaching in every generation for nearly 2000 years.

So, although you may find writings like Simon presented from St. Clement, you’ll find overwhelming evidence that the Church taught the Real Presence from the word “Go”.


#9

Regarding Clement’s thoughts, here’s what he also says on the Eucharist:

"For the blood of the grape–that is, the Word–desired to be mixed with water, as His blood is mingled with salvation. And the blood of the Lord is twofold. For there is the blood of His flesh, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and the spiritual, that by which we are anointed. And to drink the blood of Jesus, is to become partaker of the Lord’s immortality; the Spirit being the energetic principle of the Word, as blood is of flesh. Accordingly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. And the one, the mixture of wine and water, nourishes to faith; while the other, the Spirit, conducts to immortality. And the mixture of both–of the water and of the Word–is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul."
Clement of Alexandria,The Instructor,2(ante A.D. 202),in ANF,II:242

This comes from Corunum’s Web-site, so I hope it’s not spliced to change the context.


#10

It does however say something in regards to the term “consensus of the fathers” When the man called Pope Clement has a view altogether different than practicing catholicism of the 21st century. Right John?


#11

St. Clement of Alexandria was Pope? :wink:

That’s news to me!


#12

Notworthy’s post…
"For the blood of the grape–that is, the Word–desired to be mixed with water, as His blood is mingled with salvation. And the blood of the Lord is twofold. For there is the blood of His flesh, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and the spiritual, that by which we are anointed. And to drink the blood of Jesus, is to become partaker of the Lord’s immortality; the Spirit being the energetic principle of the Word, as blood is of flesh. Accordingly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. And the one, the mixture of wine and water, nourishes to faith; while the other, the Spirit, conducts to immortality. And the mixture of both–of the water and of the Word–is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul."
Clement of Alexandria,The Instructor,2(ante A.D. 202),in ANF,II:242

For context.
Continues on as such…
For the divine mixture, man, the Father’s will 243has mystically compounded by the Spirit and the Word. For, in truth, the spirit is joined to the soul, which is inspired by it; and the flesh, by reason of which the Word became flesh, to the Word.


#13

Ooops my bad!


#14

The teachings and writings of the ECF’s and of St Clement do not have to be at odds with each other…it is not a either / or proposition. Realistically it is a both / and…

The Eucharist is in fact and in truth the body and blood of Jesu; that if we eat it unworthily we will eat and drink to our death…AND…

The Eucharist also is symbolic to all that it means to be ‘in the body of Christ’ To come together, in faith, and in communion with one another and with God…

Is not there both a physical reality that can co-exists with a spiritual reality? For example: baptism, it may consist of a washing in water [that can remove an impurity like dust, makes one wet, ect- all of the visible tangeble aspects…it symbolizes our comming into the church [membership with the community and with Jesus] BUT also imparts a real spiritual cleansing of sin, it is not fake nor only symbolic BUT REAL.

The same is true for the Eucharist…it is both symbolic and TRUE HEAVENLY SENT FOOD!

St Clement of Alexandria would agree and I believe this is found in his writings, when taken in total and in context IMHO :slight_smile:


#15

Not mine…

The Real Presence.


#16

This is also from The Instructor 2:2
And the mixture of both—of the water and of the Word—is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul. For the divine mixture, man, the Father’s will has mystically compounded by the Spirit and the Word. For, in truth, the spirit is joined to the soul, which is inspired by it; and the flesh, by reason of which the Word became flesh, to the Word.

Clearly shows Christ (The Word) is truly present in the Eucharist and not just symbolically.
Everyone can read ALL of this treatise by Clement at the following:
newadvent.org/fathers/0209.htm


#17

Maybe I am dense, could you please point it out to me…


#18

No problem Simon.
1st Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

1st Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.


#19

Wow! Thanks Martin for finding out that little snippet in that letter from Clement. I have an email in to Joey Ratz about it. I’m guessing its irrefutable evidence about the errors of our little cult. Hopefully he’ll let his scholars know that they have 2000 years of study wrong, and he’ll just go ahead and disband us. BTW, what is the name of your church? I’m sure all 2 billion of us would want to join, as you guys seem to have it all figured out!

Just kidding, but please…you think by finding one little blurb somewhere is going to shake the faith of Billions of Catholics?? I promise you the Church has studied ALL these documents and come to her conclusions…


#20

“In what manner do you think the Lord drank when He became man for our sakes? As shamelessly as we? Was it not with decorum and propriety? Was it not deliberately? For rest assured, He Himself also partook of wine; for He, too, was man. And He blessed the wine, saying, 'Take, drink: this is my blood’–the blood of the vine. He figuratively calls the Word ‘shed for many, for the remission of sins’–the holy stream of gladness. And that he who drinks ought to observe moderation, He clearly showed by what He taught at feasts. For He did not teach affected by wine. And that it was wine which was the thing blessed, He showed again, when He said to His disciples, ‘I will not drink of the fruit of this vine, till I drink it with you in the kingdom of my Father.’ But that it was wine which was drunk by the Lord, He tells us again, when He spake concerning Himself, reproaching the Jews for their hardness of heart: ‘For the Son of man,’ He says, ‘came, and they say, Behold a glutton and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans.’” Clement of Alexandria

Yeah…Um. You do know that in referencce to the wine, he calls it the blood of the vine? This gives quite rightly a nice image of Christ at the las supper. Also he uses the word figuratively, not in regards to the wine but in regards to the Word or to Jesus’s divine nature. So much for for Clement disproving transubstantiation here.

Also:

“Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbols, when He said: ‘Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood,’ describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise, by means of which the Church,like a human being consisting of many members, is refreshed and grows, is welded together and compacted of both,–of faith, which is the body, and of hope, which is the soul; as also the Lord of flesh and blood. For in reality the blood of faith is hope, in which faith is held as by a vital principle.”
(The Instructor, 1:6)

You bolded the the parts where the word metaphor was used. However you didn’t take the whole passage into account. The symbolism and metaphor of the eucharist is as Clement said. In recieving the Eucharist we are indeed recieving that faith that which are given by God. We participate in an increase in that faith. The symbolism here is that the Literal body of the Lord as presented in the Eucharist represents in a manner that faith. So yes, there is symbolism in the Eucharist however, he does not deny elsewhere the literalness of the Eucharist and the Catholic rightly argues that the Eucharist is both a symbol and is literal just as Clement did here earlier.


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